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THE RAPE OF THE LOCK.
Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos;
What dire offence from amorous causes springs,
Say what strange motive, goddess! could compel
Sol through white curtains shot a timorous ray, And op'd those eyes that must eclipse the day.
1 Secretary to Queen Mary, wife of James II.; and author of Sir Solomon Single, a comedy, and of several translations in Dryden's Miscellanies. He first suggested the subject of this poem to the author.
Now lapdogs give themselves the rousing shake,
“Fairest of mortals, thou distinguish'd care
green, Or virgins visited by angel powers, [flowers ; With golden crowns and wreaths of heavenly Hear and believe! thy own importance know, Nor bound thy narrow views to things below. Some secret truths, from learned pride conceal’d, To maids alone and children are reveald: What though no credit doubting wits may give? The fair and innocent shall still believe. Know, then, unnumber'd spirits round thee fly, The light militia of the lower sky: These, though unseen, are ever on the wing, Hang o'er the box, and hover round the ring.
1 Mrs. Arabella Fermor.
Think what an equipage thou hast in air,
“Know further yet; whoever fair and chaste
When kind occasion prompts their warm desires, When music softens, and when dancing fires ? 'Tis but their sylph, the wise celestials know, Though honour is the word with men below. “ Some nymphs there are, too conscious of their
face, For life predestin'd to the gnomes' embrace. These swell their prospects and exalt their pride, When offers are disdain’d, and love denied: Then
ideas crowd the vacant brain, [train, While peers, and dukes, and all their sweeping And garters, stars, and coronets appear, And in soft sounds, ' Your Grace' salutes their ear. 'Tis these that early taint the female soul, Instruct the eyes of young coquettes to roll, Teach infant cheeks a bidden blush to know, And little hearts to flutter at a beau.
“ Oft, when the world imagine women stray, The sylphs through mystic mazes guide their way; Through all the giddy circle they pursue, And old impertinence expel by new. What tender maid but must a victim fall To one man's treat, but for another's ball ? When Florio speaks, what virgin could withstand, If gentle Damon did not squeeze her hand ? With varying vanities, from every part, They shift the moving toyshop of their heart; Where wigs with wigs, with sword-knots sword
knots strive, Beaux banish beaux, and coaches coaches drive.
This erring mortals levity may call;
“Of these am I, who thy protection claim,
saw, alas! some dread event impend,
He said ; when Shock, who thought she slept too Leap'd up, and wak'd his mistress with his tongue. 'Twas then, Belinda, if report say true, Thy eyes first open'd on a billet-doux; Wounds, charms, and ardours were no sooner read, But all the vision vanish'd from thy head.
And now, unveil'd, the toilet stands display'd, Each silver vase in mystic order laid. First, rob’d in white, the nymph intent adores, With head uncover'd, the cosmetic powers. A heavenly image in the glass appears, To that she bends, to that her eyes Th' inferior priestess, at her altar's side, Trembling begins the sacred rites of pride. Unnumber'd treasures ope at once, and here The various offerings of the world appear; From each she nicely culls with curious toil, And decks the goddess with the glittering spoil.